How to Get the Most Out of Your St. Louis Family Portrait Session

kids sitting by lake at sunrise

How to Get the Most Out of Your St. Louis Family Portrait Session

You are about to invest in a portrait session, but want to make sure you get the most out of your St. Louis family portrait session? I have created a 6 step guide about how to get the most out of your St. Louis Family Portrait Session!

It’s really shocking how fast your kids grow up. One day, they’re learning to roll over for the first time and then all of a sudden, they’re 10 and complaining you “never do what they want to do”, even though you just played Scooby-Doo Clue 5 times in a row.

Capturing each stage of their life is really such a gift. From the happy, exciting newborn stage to the threenager, to the preteen, being a parent is such a cool experience. My favorite quote… I cannot figure out where I read it or the exact wording, but it went something like- it’s hard to say goodbye to each version of your child that you meet.  And I love that. It really really sums up parenthood.

I love my kids and and want them to grow, but man it’s so hard to say goodbye to the newborn you snuggled to sleep, the 3 year old you played dress up with all day and that happily helped you with your chores, the 5 year old that you spent hours and hours teaching to read and that wants you to snuggle them to sleep, and the 8 year old you’re playing board games and baseball with for hours. It’s really hard to say goodbye to that. Which is why family pictures are SOOOO IMPORTANT!

Every single year, you should be documenting your ENTIRE family (moms need to be in the pictures, too!)

It really goes by too fast to skip out, so it is very important to take those St. Louis family portraits so there are no regrets and you can remember all those versions of your kids. So, preparing for your portrait session and planning it out ahead of time to best document your family is so important. There is so much to think of, but I’ve compiled a list of 6 Steps on how to get the most out of your St. Louis family portrait session!

kids sitting by lake at sunrise

6 Steps on How to Get the Most Out of Your St. Louis Family Portrait Session

  1. How to Get the Most Out of Your St. Louis Family Portrait Session- Choose your photographer

  2. How to Get the Most Out of Your St. Louis Family Portrait Session-Decide what to do with your portraits

  3. How to Get the Most Out of Your St. Louis Family Portrait Session-Decide where you want your portraits taken

  4. How to Get the Most Out of Your St. Louis Family Portrait Session-Choose your color palate and outfits for your portrait session

  5. How to Get the Most Out of Your St. Louis Family Portrait Session-Prepare your kids!!!!

  6. How to Get the Most Out of Your St. Louis Family Portrait Session-Lay everything out that you will need the day before

 

 

Let’s dig deeper.

1. How to Get the Most Out of Your St. Louis Family Portrait Session-Choose your photographer

You want to choose a photographer that you love to take your St. Louis family portraits! You love their style? You love their customers service? You love their products they offer? Or you love the locations where they shoot? Whatever the reason, you love this photographer(hopefully this is me!) and you want them to be the person to document this stage of your life.

Check out their website and familiarize yourself with their process and learn more about the photographer.  Then, go ahead and fill out their contact form on their website or give them a call! Photographers can’t always answer the phone, so be sure to leave a message so we know you want a call back!

 

2. How to Get the Most Out of Your St. Louis Family Portrait Session-Decide what you want to do with your St. Louis family portraits

Do you want a large family portrait for over the fireplace? Smaller prints for a gallery wall? A canvas for your child’s room? Or an album to flip through? Start thinking about what you would like to do with your St. Louis family portraits.  A great photographer will lay out all the options, show you samples, and walk you through what might work best for your family. Some will even be able to show you your portraits on your walls to help you decide on sizing! Check out our product feature blog posts to learn more about what we offer at Sutherland Photography.

folio box with matted prints
leather album

3. How to Get the Most Out of Your St. Louis Family Portrait Session-Decide where you want your family portraits taken

Now that you know what you want to do with your St. Louis family portraits, it’s time to decide where you want the pictures taken! Are you looking for something with a backdrop in a studio, lifestyle in your home, or somewhere in nature? Lifestyle and in nature are both awesome to really document how your family interacts. They’re typically more laid back and natural, but also harder to control light and backgrounds. Studio portraits are beautiful because the photographer can get lighting just right, has control over the background, and are more formal for the fireplace pieces. NOW, Studio portraits CAN be set up to be more lifestyle and laid back. It’s also easier to get a mix of styles.

 

My personal favorite, though, is in home sessions. Most photographers don’t offer this style, but it really gives the opportunity for a variety of images. Want some pictures of your family in your own backyard? Some formal pictures with a backdrop? Some pictures of your kids playing in their rooms? You really get a variety and you can choose one style you want for a fireplace picture, one style in an album, and a mix in a hallway gallery wall!

 

Looking for a gallery of sample images to help you decide?

newborn family portrait

4. How to Get the Most Out of Your St. Louis Family Portrait Session-Choose your color palate and outfits for your St. Louis family portrait session

For this, you’ll need to consider the time of year, what you want to do with your St. Louis family portraits, and where they’ll be taken. Think about some general colors you like together or maybe look on Pinterest or my gallery for some ideas. Then start one of 2 ways- mom because she’s always the hardest to find something she likes(Check out my suggestions for dresses for mom)! OR if you have a cute floral or patterned outfit to put a younger child in, go off that. If the flowers are blue, pink, and yellow, maybe use pink and blue solids for everyone else? Throw in some jeans or khakis for the boys and everything should come together.

Unless of course, you’ll be having a formal studio session? In that case, suits or dress pants and button downs for the boys, and fluffy or flowy dresses for the girls!  Your photographer should definitely be helping you with this step! Most photographers are happy to give advice on what you should wear.  They want great family portraits for you just as much as you do!

5. How to Get the Most Out of Your St. Louis Family Portrait Session-Prepare your kids for your family portrait session!

Explain to them ahead of time what to expect and how long the session should take.  If they’re not just thrown into a new situation, we will get much better pictures! Bring snacks and water in case the get hangry!

6 Steps on How to Get the Most Out of Your St. Louis Family Portrait Session grandma with grandkids by water at sunset

6. How to Get the Most Out of Your St. Louis Family Portrait Session-Lay everything out for your family portrait session the night before

You don’t want to have any last minute issues.  Because shoes go missing or you realize a shirt is wrinkled or a dress has a stain and its always when you’re rushing to get dressed for your photos, you need to be prepared.  Laying everything out ahead of time will ensure you have everything you need.  If you have any last minute trips for a belt or bow the next day, you aren’t rushing!

 

And you’re ready for your family photos! Your photographer should be walking you through these steps and helping you plan your St. Louis family portraits.  You want a photographer who cares about getting great portraits and not rushing off to take another family’s photos.  You want a photographer who is going to walk you through, hold your hand, and get your finished portraits up on the wall.  So, while these steps are a great guideline, questions I haven’t answered WILL come up and you want to make sure you can trust your photographer to help you through.

 

 

Start planning your own St. Louis family portrait session!

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